Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Consistency & Commitment

The two C words that often make me shiver.

Throughout my life, I've been all about another C word - Change. I've loved change. Change for Geminis is like honey for bees. I'm always ready to try something new to help me discover something new about myself. To me, consistency used to equate to boredom. I could not eat the same breakfast three days in a row, forget having the same routine. In fact, one of the reasons for doing a triathlon was precisely because it was novel and there was variety built into the sport - it wasn't about the same activity. The main reason I've shied away from marathons is not because of the physical exertion but because I cannot imagine doing the same thing for 5 hours! Call me ADD but I love change. I believe that change pushes you out of your comfort zone. And when you dare to move out of your comfort zone, you begin to learn something new about yourself - how you think, act, believe.. how certain assumptions you've held onto are mistaken (or true). The re-visiting of yourself in a new situation helps you to get to know yourself all over again.

When the tri routine was new to me in 2007, I embraced it. Then I discovered Tri-training, like any other endurance activity hinged on consistent training. When it came to buckling down to a regular routine for training in 2008, it was a struggle. I struggled with enforcing my own routine. What made it even more difficult was that I was contending with health issues. So I always found reasons to break with routine.

But after battling health issues over the last two months, I've begun to embrace routine again. Last week I started working out again and tagged along with Cha who's training for OD this season. I stayed away from creating any sort of schedule for myself because I was not sure how my body would handle it. (And admittedly I had some trepidation that the R word would lead to inner resistance.) The training days worked well for me. The next week, I found myself wanting to stick with the training - miraculously and effortlessly, I wanted to be (gasp) consistent!

On reflection, you can do the same thing for 100 times but when you do it with full attention, it seems like a new experience each time. For instance, yesterday when I swam the usual free-style & breaststroke, I started noticing how my body responded to each style differently... which muscles were working... how my arms felt as I propelled myself forward etc.

Consistency, at the end of the day, is born out of commitment. If you are committed to your goal, you will find it in you to train consistently. Here's an interesting blog post that Amit forwarded to me about the power of commitment. It's really inspiring how the author tackled the challenges of tri-training because she was committed to her goal of losing weight. . which ultimately led to new self-insights.

As a triathlete, I ask myself, "What am I committed to? Why am I committing to this?" When my commitment is clear, it makes room for consistency. I am able to make it to my planned workout. Yesterday, I had a hectic day and found a lot excuses to escape my swim workout.. fatigue, errands, a meeting at night etc. Then I made up my mind to follow through with my intended workout because I knew that the exercise would help in my recovery. I went swimming at 24hr fitness at 9.30pm. And it felt awesome.

My commitment is clear this season. I'm committed to helping my body heal. I'm committed to a routine that will help my body get to a place where I feel strong enough to take on challenging distances. I want to find out what my body can do for me and discover my true potential - that is what I'm committed to.

1 comment:

Amino Butane said...

Nicely written Sha! I wish you the best of luck in your goals of healing your body and pushing it to new limits!